Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will continue in his post, BJP president Amit Shah said Sunday as he announced that a reshuffle of the state's ministers will soon take place.
“It has been decided during a discussion with the Goa BJP core team that Manohar Parrikar will continue to lead the Goa government. There will soon be a reshuffle of ministers and their portfolios,” he said. Parrikar’s poor health has sparked speculation over his continuation as chief minister of Goa, and Shah recently sent a team of central party leaders to the coastal state to speak to allies and take stock of the political situation there.
The opposition Congress, which is the single-largest party in the state, has staked claim to form the government. The BJP has asserted that its government continues to have the support of a majority of MLAs. Parrikar is admitted to AIIMS and undergoing treatment for pancreatic ailment.
The reshuffle of ministers will be aimed at consolidating support for the BJP-led alliance government as the Congress is looking for signs of discontent to topple the Goa government. In the 40-member state assembly, the Parrikar-led government has the support of 23 MLAs. The BJP has 14 MLAs against 16 of the Congress, and Parrikar’s appeal was a key reason behind its success in securing support from a cross-section of legislators following last year elections.
Choosing a replacement for Parrikar, if such a need arises, will be tricky for the BJP as finding a leader who could command the loyalty of MLAs from different parties would not be easy, political watchers believe.